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Page last updated at 11:00 GMT, Tuesday, 25 May 2010 12:00 UK

My First World Cup: Daniel Alves


Alves said he was happy to wait his turn

By Ashish Sharma
BBC Sport in Barcelona

Brazil defender Daniel Alves has told the BBC his team have the best players ahead of the 2010 World Cup finals in South Africa - and that he has not minded having to wait seven years to make his debut in the tournament.

The Barcelona right-back, who is the world's most expensive defender, first shot to prominence when he performed outstandingly in the 2003 Fifa World Youth Championships.

But Alves was left out of the Germany 2006 squad - the back-up to Cafu being Cicinho - despite having starred for his then club team Sevilla in their victorious Uefa Cup campaign.

"That's what the Brazilian team has; it has the best players," Alves told BBC World Service.

"Unfortunately, only 11 can play, and the others have to wait for their turn to come. I kept on working in the same way, waiting for my turn.

"And every time I am called to play I try to add my bit. I think that in the end, the one that wins is the group."

Brazil-Spain final

Alves eventually made his Brazil debut in a friendly against Ecuador shortly after the country's disappointing 2006 campaign ended with defeat to France in the quarter-finals.

He is still to confirm a place in the starting eleven, however, owing to the strong competition from Inter Milan star Maicon.

BBC My First World Cup XI
11 players making their debut on the World Cup stage at South Africa 2010

Brazil have a difficult group, being drawn with Ivory Coast, North Korea and Lusophone rivals Portugal in Group G.

But Alves said he was hoping the national team could "stand up to the occasion and have a great competition".

"I think it's going to be a very nice, a very beautiful World Cup," he said.

"I hope we can be there on the big day. This is the first World Cup in South Africa and I hope they can organise it properly, as such an occasion deserves."

Alves said he could remember Brazil winning games in every World Cup he had seen, and hoped "keep on having memories, but from the inside now".

But the player who scored the winner in semi-final of South Africa's warm-up tournament, the 2009 Confederation Cup, refused to be drawn on speculation that the real final will see his team line up against European champions Spain.

"That is an option - [but] all the teams in the World Cup have a chance to reach the final," he said.

"I hope Brazil make it."

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see also
Brazil omit Ronaldinho from squad
11 May 10 |  World Cup 2010
Dunga dilemma
07 May 10 |  World Cup 2010
Spain and Brazil set World Cup pace
05 Mar 10 |  Football
New-look Brazil go back to basics
03 Mar 10 |  World Cup 2010
Brazil face tough World Cup group
04 Dec 09 |  World Cup 2010
Guide to the teams at South Africa 2010
05 Dec 09 |  World Cup 2010
World Cup venues
05 Dec 09 |  World Cup 2010

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